Luxembourg in a nutshell! An Australian Perspective.

My trip to Europe is coming to an end and this video gives an overview of what I have learned about Luxembourg, it’s history, it’s people, places to see, things to do.

Luxembourg has this catch cry, ‘We want to remain as we are’ and in that spirit of independence and holding onto what is unique, I have decided to do this video in ‘Australian English’ – so be warned, there is some course language!

Some footnotes:

Steel doesn’t grow in the ground – iron ore does!

“Luxembourg is considered one of the strongest fortifications in Europe”

“Luxembourg remained an underdeveloped agrarian country for most of the century. As a result of this about one in five of the inhabitants emigrated to the United States between 1841 and 1891.”

Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and ranked 179th in size of all the 194 independent countries of the world; the country is about 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi) in size, and measures 82 km (51 mi) long and 57 km (35 mi) wide.

“Between 1945 and 2005, the economic structure of Luxembourg changed significantly. The crisis of the metallurgy sector, which began in the mid-1970s and lasted till the late 1980s, nearly pushed the country into economic recession, given the monolithic dominance of that sector. The Tripartite Coordination Committee, consisting of members of the government, management representatives, and trade union leaders, succeeded in preventing major social unrest during those years, thus creating the myth of a “Luxembourg model” characterized by social peace. Although in the early years of the 21st century Luxembourg enjoyed one of the highest GNP per capita in the world, this was mainly due to the strength of its financial sector, which gained importance at the end of the 1960s. Thirty-five years later, one-third of the tax proceeds originated from that sector. The harmonization of the tax system across Europe could, however, seriously undermine the financial situation of the grand duchy.”

“Luxembourg is the world’s second largest investment fund centre (after the United States), the most important private banking centre in the eurozone and Europe’s leading centre for reinsurance companies. Moreover, the Luxembourg government has aimed to attract internet start-ups, with Skype and Amazon being two of the many internet companies that have shifted their regional headquarters to Luxembourg.”

“In March 2010, the Sunday Telegraph reported that most of Kim Jong-Il’s $4bn in secret accounts is in Luxembourg banks”

“In 2013, Luxembourg is ranked as the 2nd safest tax haven in the world, behind Switzerland.”

“In 2011, according to the IMF, Luxembourg was the second richest country in the world, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity (PPP) basis of $80,119.”

“Luxembourg has been one of the strongest advocates of the European Union in the tradition of Robert Schuman. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union) and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area.”

“Luxembourg sells the most alcohol in Europe per capita.[124] However, the large proportion of alcohol purchased by customers from neighbouring countries contributes to the statistically high level of alcohol sales per capita; this level of alcohol sales is thus not representative of the actual alcohol consumption of the Luxembourg population.”

“In 2013 there were about 88,000 inhabitants with Portuguese nationality.”

“McDonalds Australia channel $500,000 million of their Australian tax commitments to Luxembourg.”

“Judd mat Gaardebounen, or Smoked Collar of Pork with Broad Beans, is one of the most widely recognized national dishes of the Luxembourg.”

Holiday Activities, including Tours and Adventure Videos

40 Videos featuring tours and adventure activities from around the world. To select an individual video, click on playlist link in the top left hand corner of video player, and scroll down to make a selection.

Food, Drink and Nightlife Videos from Around the World

49 Food, drink and nightlife videos from around the world. Travel the world with To see the playlist of all videos, click on playlist link in the top left hand corner of video player.

Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Half Day Snorkelling Tour

I did a half day snorkelling tour with EZ Boy Tours of the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve.

Tours run from 10.30am till 1.30pm and 2pm to 5pm.
The tour spends one hour at three different locations:
Sting Ray Village
South Channel (Tropical Fish)
Coral Gardens

On my tour I saw sting rays, sharks, tropical fish, colourful coral, lobster, moray eels, barracuda and various fish like snapper.

E-Z Boy Tours can be found here

Hol Chan Sailing and Snorkeling Trip, Caye Caulker, Belize

I join Caye Caulker local Dianny for what she says is the best sailing and snorkeling tour in Caye Caulker. On the trip we visit 3 snorkeling locations; Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Reef Channel.

On the tour we see Sharks, Rays and Turtles as well as numerous fish species and coral. Hol Chan Marine Reserve covers approximately 18 km² (4,448 acres) of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forest. Over 160 species of fish have been recorded in the reserve, along with forty types of coral, five species of sponge, two seagrasses, three species of sea turtle and three marine mammals: the Short-beaked Common Dolphin, Pantropical Spotted Dolphin and West Indian Manatee.

The tours goes from 10.30am till 4.30pm and snorkeling gear, lunch and drinks (rum punch at the end) Cost is $90 + $20 for park fees

Thanks to Liberty Sailing Tours

North Korea – Kaesong and the Demilitarised Zone, Part 3 Tourism Preview

Australian filmmaker Mark Shea takes a trip to North Korea (The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea) with Young Pioneer Tours.

This video is part three of a brief overview of what I saw in North Korea. We visit Kaesong — the capital of Korea during the Koryo Dynasty and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

Kaesong, the ancient capital of Korea, is like a tourism boom town waiting to happen. It did not escape me that we were the only group walking the quaint cobbled streets surrounded by traditional houses. Visiting the museum and learning of the history of the Koryo period, I thought to recent history, political movements, and how only sixty years have made the two Korea’s, North and South, so indistinguishable.

The demilitarised zone really took me by surprise. I was expecting stern faced soldiers ready for attack. Instead I discovered bus loads of Chinese tourists, snapping photos with obliging soldiers.

Santa Monica Beach with the Adventure Goddess

Mark the Overlander visits Santa Monica Beach where he meets up with local, Laura the Adventure Goddess.

Laura takes Mark on a bicycle tour, showing him her favourite parts of Santa Monica.

We ride along the beach and visit the Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica Pier where Route 66 ends and the original ‘Muscle Beach’.

As we watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean at the Pacific Palisades Park, Laura talks about the strong community spirit of Santa Monica and believes the local library is a great place to visit to experience this.

Thanks to Laura the Adventure Goddess

Music – videoblocks – Deep Chill and Afterglow

Meet a Local Travel Series : East Coast Australia, Gold Coast to Cape Tribulation

Join Australian filmmaker Mark Shea as he continues traveling up the East Coast of Australia meeting local people and exploring their hometowns.

In this episode he meets –
*a Socialite Publisher on the Gold Coast,
*a Magician in Noosa,
*a visit to the World’s Largest Sand Island,
*an Irish Backpacker at Airlie Beach,
*the unique wildlife of Magnetic Island,
*Great Barrier Reef diving at Cairns
*living off the land at Cape Tribulation

Meet a Local Travel Series : East Coast Australia, Melbourne to Nimbin

Join Australian filmmaker Mark Shea as he travels the East Coast of Australia meeting local people and exploring their hometowns. The whole half hour program, visiting locations from Melbourne to Nimbin.

Stories include:
*Musician Wendy Rule in Melbourne,
*Paddle Steamers in Echuca,
*an Aboriginal Sacred Site called Mumbulla Mountain,
*the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra,
*a performing Drag Queen in Sydney,
*a Beachcombing Artist in Byron Bay,
*a Forest Dwelling Hippy in Nimbin

North Korea – Visiting as a Tourist, Part Two

I took a trip to North Korea (The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea) with Young Pioneer Tours.

This video is Part Two of a brief overview of what I saw in North Korea. This video discusses how to visit North Korea as a tourist.